PPP loans and taxes: what to consider before you file

Kennith Bogan

Tax season is upon us, and for contractors that borrowed dollars beneath the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Software last yr in get to aid their organizations survive the economic hardships introduced by the COVID-19 pandemic, there are a handful of challenges really worth noting.

The biggest influence to their 2020 corporate tax returns submitted this calendar year will be that, following a lot of back again and forth, these getting forgiveness for the financial loans will be ready to deduct the charges permitted beneath the plan.

This is excellent news for financial loan recipients considering the fact that deductibility was up in the air till the stop of previous calendar year, reported Michael Ceschini, handling member at Ceschini CPAs Tax & Advisory in New York. The loans are forgivable if at minimum 60% of the proceeds are spent on payroll expenditures and the remaining 40% on outlays for rent, utilities and other approved items.

Payroll costs in specific are a big-ticket product for most contractors and not staying ready to deduct them would have set some at hazard for increased-than-predicted tax payments.

As far as the financial loan by itself, claimed Carl Oliveri, spouse and construction apply leader at the accounting organization Grassi & Co., contractors will be in a position to account for it two most important ways.

“If a contractor is really sure they are likely to get forgiveness, they’re heading to fall it into cash flow due to the fact it is really likely to make the financial statements glance a minimal improved. Then on their tax return, you happen to be heading to see it as a reconciling product, getting their earnings from their money statements down to a decrease taxable selection,” he claimed.

Concerning the deductibility and forgiveness of the PPP loan by itself, contractors’ earnings could be reduced to the issue wherever they can assert a reduction, Oliveri claimed.

However, Grassi is advising its clients to treat PPP financial loans as they would any other financial loans — liabilities — until they get official forgiveness from the Small Business Administration, which oversees the system.

Other issues

Also treated as a liability, Oliveri mentioned, will be deferred FICA payments, the business’s contributions to every single employee’s Social Protection account. As portion of the CARES Act, businesses can defer those payments owing concerning March 27, 2020, and Dec. 31, 2020. Companies will have to pay 50% of deferred FICA payments by Dec. 31, 2021, and the remaining equilibrium by Dec. 31, 2022.

Companies ought to also make absolutely sure they took gain of the staff retention credit score, Ceschini explained, which permitted firms to deduct up to $10,000 per staff on their payroll tax returns for wages paid out involving March 20, 2020, and December 31, 2020. Businesses that have been both shut down by federal government get or noticed a considerable dip in gross sales in the course of that time are qualified.

These kinds of a late resolution to the difficulty of irrespective of whether fees compensated with PPP loans were being deductible, Ceschini mentioned, indicates that year-end tax preparing finished prior to the Consolidated Appropriations Act went into result could not be revamped appropriately.

“We experienced [clients] shelling out taxes on the facts at hand,” he said. “Some of them had to borrow revenue on their lines of credit score to pay their taxes. It’s not the worst detail in the planet, but why would you pay back taxes in progress if it weren’t needed, primarily in this kind of a negative year with the financial state?”

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